Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Casper, Wyoming July 29

To say I'm enjoying my visit to Casper is a complete understatement. Let's recap from where I left off yesterday.

I met great folks at the committee meeting on Monday and learned much about the group's operation. The entire family history process is a learning event. I pretend I am a sponge and try to soak up every tidbit of information.

After the meeting, I trekked the few blocks to downtown Casper again. The walk is just the exercise I need. I wanted to explore another restaurant, but realized at 3:35 p.m. that The Dark Knight started at 3:50 p.m. at the America Theatre. The charm of the old downtown theatre overtook me and I bought a ticket and headed in.

The theatre lobby was basic, but as I entered the screening room, it suddenly went high tech. The sound system was outstanding and I would have believed I was at a Beatles concert as I heard John Lennon's voice clear and loud. (No young girls screams interfered with the acoustics). The stadium seating was unexpected yet welcome. I grabbed a seat dead center about a 1/3 of the way back from the screen. Next song was Revolution. Did they know I was coming? I love this music. I tried not to tap my feet to the beat but I felt like a little kid who could not sit still. Third song was Back in the USSR. They must have known I was there, or at least that a thousand or so German Russians were in town. The fourth song was While My Guitar Gently Weeps, a favorite of my daughter Ashley, who could not attend the convention with me this year since school started today. The concert concluded with A Day in the Life and at the crescendo ending the curtains opened wider and the previews started. The previews are entertainment, too, and since I rarely see movies in theaters, I welcomed the Brendan Fraser Mummy preview.
Then the main event. The Dark Knight film so captivated my attention I find it difficult to describe all of my emotions. All of the actors and Maggie were phenomenal. Isn't great acting what it is all about?

I've enjoyed Christian Bale's career since Empire of the Sun, I loved Newsies, and his portrayal of Batman is clean and authentic. Who can quibble about Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman in supporting roles? Who can question Aaron Eckhart's presence on the screen? Yet, Heath Ledger's performance defies comparison. Did Jack Nicholson actually perform the role of The Joker? Heath makes us forget about Jack, and Jack is top notch. I fear violence as entertainment, yet I could not take my eyes off Heath Ledger's Joker. Heath's legacy role will undoubtably be this one. Yet, I prefer to remember him in Ten Things I hate about you or The Patriot. I would not want to be the actor to take on the role of the Joker in the future. The comparison would be too daunting. I encourage everyone to see this movie because you have to see it to believe.

With emotions in a tangle, yet pleased for the movie's success, I headed over to The World Famous Wonder Bar for dinner. If Ernest Hemingway recommended it, why not give it a try? Originally, customers could bring their horses into the bar. Last night, I didn't see any. Of course, I was only drinking the lemonade. The Wonder Bar eeks of history. From the turn of the century pictures on the walls, to the old wooden floors, to the beautiful brick walls, and gorgeous wooden bar, it lives up to its name. Two pictures were next to the booth at which I sat. One showed Center St. at the turn of the century, the other was a picture of the America theatre in 1922. How weird is that? The menu had outstanding choices. I ordered the BBQ salmon and smashers and savored both.
This was just what I needed to close out my second day in Casper.
For more details, visit their web site at http://www.parkwayplaza.net/wonderbar/default.htm

This morning I awoke, headed to another committee meeting resumed my role as a sponge. This afternoon I will tour Historic Becker Farm. More to come tomorrow from Casper.


Frank said...

You are having way to much fun!!!

The Wonder Bar sounds awesome, but what are "smashers"? And, if you want to be like Papa Hemingway, i think you better skip the lemonade next time you go!

Keep up the updates, I'm enjoying reading about your visit.

Anna said...

Smashers are "smashed" or mashed potatoes. The lemonade was good, but I think Papa had something stronger and most of the clientele agreed with him!